British Airways Visa Signature Card Review
The British Airways Visa Signature Card from Chase rewards you with Avios points on every purchase you make, but you’ll earn more when you book with British Airways partner airlines and make direct hotel accommodations. As such, it’s an excellent card for those who travel and use Avios points to reduce their costs. To use the card, you’ll pay a $95 annual fee and be subject to interest charges of 17.49% to 24.49% APR, but during your travels abroad, you won’t pay extra fees on your purchases.
British Airways Visa Signature Card Overview
Rewards rate: Receive three Avios points per dollar on Aer Lingus, Vueling, and British Airways purchases, two Avios points per dollar on direct hotel accommodations, one Avios point per dollar on others
Sign-up bonus: 50,000 Avios points after spending $3,000 in the first three months, an additional 50,000 Avios points after spending $20,000 in the first year
Annual fee: $95
- Balance transfer fee: 5%
- Cash advances: $10 or 5%
- Foreign transaction fee: $0
- Receive up to three statement credits per year (worth up to $600) when you book a rewards flight to London
- Make at least $30,000 in purchases with your card each year to receive a free Travel Together companion ticket
- At compatible readers, you can just tap your card to pay, rather than swipe or insert, for faster checkout
- Free travel benefits: Cardholders receive delayed and lost luggage reimbursement, car rental collision coverage, and extended warranty protection (on purchases)
- No foreign transaction fees: You won’t pay more for using your card outside of the country
- Use Avios to pay for everything: You can use your Avios points to also cover fees, taxes, and airport charges
- $95 annual fee: You have to pay every year in order to keep using your card
- Max points tied to certain airlines: You won’t earn the max points per dollar when you fly with an airline outside the British Airways family
Who Should Get British Airways Visa Signature Card?
Best for: If you already travel with the British Airlines family of partners or have an existing Avios points account, the British Airways Visa Signature Card from Chase is a great way to earn even more points, even on everyday purchases.
Not for: If you don’t travel often, you won’t see a lot of benefit to the British Airways Visa Signature Card. It only rewards you in Avios points, which are primarily redeemed for travel-related expenses. There are no introductory offers to help you save on interest, and there’s even a $95 annual fee, which makes this even less attractive for anyone who doesn’t already do (or plan to do) a lot of traveling.
No foreign transaction fees
No matter where you decide to travel, you can use your British Airways Visa Signature Card without incurring any foreign transaction fees. Other cards can charge up to 3%, which means you could save $150 on $5,000 in overseas purchases when you use the British Airways Visa Signature Card over another credit card that charges fees.
Earn points on all purchases
While you’ll earn the most points per dollar spent when you book with eligible airline partners, you’ll still earn some points no matter where you use your card. You’ll see two points per dollar when you book directly with hotels and one point per dollar on all other purchases, such as car rentals, groceries, and spa treatments.
Earn a free companion ticket
If you spend at least $30,000 per calendar year, you’ll receive a Travel Together companion ticket that’s valid for two years. This ticket allows you to bring along a colleague, friend, or loved one on a flight to anywhere in the world, in the same cabin you’re in—even if it’s first class.
The British Airways Visa Signature Card comes with a $95 annual fee. There’s no way to get around it, but you can offset the cost by using the card whenever possible and racking up valuable rewards. If you don’t use the card often enough, the fee may be greater than any rewards you do earn.
Can’t spend Avios points like cash
With Chase’s British Airways Visa Signature Card, you earn Avios points, not cash back. This means you can only use your accumulated points for eligible rewards. While the redemption list is extensive, including car rentals, flights, and hotels from eligible partners, you won’t be able to use the credit on things like groceries, souvenirs, or taxi cab rides.
|British Airways Visa Signature Card||Chase Sapphire Preferred Card||Delta SkyMiles Reserve Credit Card from American Express||Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard|
|Rewards Rate||3 Avios points per dollar on Aer Lingus, Vueling, and British Airways purchases, 2 Avios points per dollar on direct hotel accommodations; 1 Avios point per dollar on others||2 points per dollar on dining and travel, 1 point per dollar on others||3 miles per dollar on Delta Airlines purchases, 1 point per dollar on others||3 miles per dollar on Virgin Atlantic purchases, 1.5 miles per dollar on others|
|Sign-up Bonus||50,000 Avios points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, an additional 50,000 Avios points after spending $20,000 in the first year||60,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months||80,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months||30,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days|
|APR||17.49% to 24.49% variable||17.49% to 24.49% variable||17.24% to 26.24% variable||17.49% to 25.49% variable|
*All information is accurate as of March 2, 2020.
British Airways Visa Signature Card Compared to Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The British Airways Visa Signature Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card are both issued by JPMorgan Chase & Co and offer cardholders similar rewards and benefits. The British Airways Visa Signature Card is tied to the British Airways family of companies, so you’ll earn more points per dollar spent when you book with those airlines. You’ll also earn two points per dollar spent on direct hotel bookings and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you’ll earn two points for every dollar you spend on travel and dining purchases and one point per dollar spent on everything else.
Both cards offer bonus point opportunities for new cardholders. With the British Airways Visa Signature Card, you can net 50,000 points by spending $3,000 in the first three months. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers more points—60,000 rather than 50,000—but it does also come with the increased minimum spend of $4,000 instead of $3,000.
In terms of other fees, the cards are exact. You’ll pay a $95 annual fee either way, and the interest rates are the same at 17.49% to 24.49%.
When you have the British Airways Visa Signature Card, you’ll earn Avios points on your purchases:
- Earn 50,000 Avios points when you spend $3,000 within the first three months
- Earn 50,000 more Avios points when you spend $20,000 within the first year
- Earn up to three Avios points per dollar spent on airfare, hotels, rentals, and more
The Bottom Line
The British Airways Visa Signature Card rewards you with Avios points whenever you use the credit card. If you’re already part of the Avios ecosystem through another membership program or your spending habits, this credit card is an easy way to help you earn more points faster. Due to the nature of the program and what you can redeem points for, including attractions, flights, and hotels, you’ll see the most benefit from this card if you travel often.